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The cost of keeping trailer mechanics up to date

The cost of keeping trailer mechanics up to date Has the growth of your business led you to consider the flexibility and other practical benefits of outsourcing trailer maintenance? Or maybe even a mix of in-house and outsourced maintenance?

Own workshop – key factors

Here are some of the factors to think about when operating your own trailer and truck maintenance workshop.

Premises

You will need a workshop with at least one repair bay including a vehicle inspection pit. Is one bay sufficient for your fleet as you expand your business? Is your yard large enough to accommodate additional bays?

Equipping the workshop with the appropriate tools and workshop machinery is a substantial investment. Among the many items that are essential to the smooth running of a workshop are hoists and lifts, diagnostic equipment, air compressors, pneumatic accessories including tyre removers, cooling system tools, power generators, and lathes.

The stock of spare parts

It is helpful to hold a stock of essential spare parts which correspond to the makes and models of the trailers in your fleet.

Workshop risks

In its leaflet’ titled “Motor Vehicle Maintenance Workshops”, insurance company Aviva mentions that every year over 2,000 accidents in workshops are reported to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive. It outlines a very long list of the risks that Aviva has identified across different aspects of workshops including servicing and mechanical repair, body repair, painting, storage, and housekeeping.

To minimise these risks, the workshop operator is obliged to follow certain health and safety regulations. In the UK, for example, this includes the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH).

Skilled trailer technicians/mechanics

How much of your time and budget do you want to spend on recruiting, managing, retaining and training skilled trailer technicians or mechanics? If your maintenance requirements fluctuate with your business, do you have a flexible source of mechanics?

It is interesting to note the basic cost of employing a truck mechanic in different countries across Europe. For example, the average annual wage excluding tax, social charges and the employer’s social charges for a truck mechanic is 31,992, in the UK; €25,599 in France; €36,107 in Germany and €29,733 in Italy.

To outsource trailer maintenance or not?

The main question is: do you, as a fleet manager, want to carry the administrative and financial burden of operating your own trailer workshop(s) or would you prefer to outsource all or part of your trailer maintenance to a specialist such as TIP Trailer Services, enabling you to increase your focus on other parts of your business where you can add more value?

TIP trailer maintenance expertise

Outsourcing trailer maintenance is very much on trend. TIP Trailer Services maintains its customers’ trailers and trucks from 84 locations spread across 17 countries. It gives our customers international reach and convenience, flexibility and peace of mind as we can provide them with any trailer service that they need, wherever they are. Our customers range from multinational transport companies with large fleets to owner-drivers with one trailer.

Scalable and flexible maintenance resources

Not content with just managing our own fleet of over 70,000 trailers, we also provide maintenance and repair and other value-added services for approximately 45,000 customer-owned trailer units. (source: TIP annual report 2017). As such, we have significant scalable and flexible resources including mechanics and workshops to handle your maintenance and repair requirements on an outsourced basis.

TIP Trailer maintenance stats

We certainly have proven maintenance experience and expertise. During 2017, TIP:

  • serviced 109,000 trailers,
  • inspected more than 1,040,000 tyres,
  • handled close to 2,000,000 work orders and about 270,000 internal workshop events,
  • spent €84,400,000 on parts,
  • managed 86,000 roadside incidents.

(source: TIP annual report 2017)

Improving fleet performance and reducing operating costs

We provide a suite of services to improve our clients’ fleet performance whilst reducing their total cost of ownership as well as trailer downtime.  Using our 84 workshops and a fleet of over 160 mobile service units across Europe, we are able to offer a comprehensive repair and maintenance service, be it for a single trailer on a one-off basis or through a tailored contracted outsourced programme suitable for an entire fleet.

Third-party maintenance

When it comes to third-party maintenance and repair we offer a broad suite of services including non-contracted maintenance and repair; quality maintenance, repairs, and parts. All our services are provided at competitive prices.

Contracted trailer maintenance

We also provide a contracted maintenance and repair service for customer-owned units to give customers the certainty of fixed monthly rates, thus helping facilitate their budgeting. These modular services can also include pan-European roadside assistance if desired.

Our trailer maintenance and repair service offers:

  • Annual roadworthiness inspections
  • Periodic equipment checks and inspections for brakes, axles and general trailer body based on manufacturers recommendations and expected annual mileage
  • Fleet management
  • Tyre maintenance
  • Roadside assistance services
  • Damage repair management
  • Reefer engine servicing
  • Tail lift servicing

For more information on how you can receive industry-leading, trailer maintenance services,  please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager using this form.

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The “unfair advantages” of our trailer rental and leasing services

The “unfair advantages” of our trailer leasing services

It is not often that the path taken by Pamela Anderson, world-famous actress, crosses with that of TIP Trailer Services. However, two unlikely worlds collided in January 2018, when, like TIP Trailer Services, Ms. Anderson got involved in “rental and leasing” and offered “unfair advantages” to her clients.

Pamela Anderson, leading actress, renowned for her lead role in “Baywatch” and supporter of several causes including animal rights, now lives in Europe. So she decided to let out her spectacular home in Malibu, Los Angeles County, USA, a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean for a handsome $70,000 per month on a short-term rental basis over the summer. For long-term leases, the asking price went down to a more modest $40,000 per month. (source: TMZ)

What are the ”unfair” leasing and rental advantages” that Pamela Anderson and TIP offer?

A brand you can trust

Both Ms Anderson and TIP Trailer Services are established brands, enjoy good reputations and instill trust.

Ms. Anderson has had a long and successful career in entertainment and business and presents herself as a brand. People know what to expect when they see Pamela Anderson in a movie, promoting a fashion brand or being an activist for an issue. The “stardust” effect of her reputation on her Malibu home gives her an “unfair advantage” in attracting renters compared to her lesser-known neighbours.

TIP is celebrating its 50thyear in the trailer rental and leasing business.  Few, if any, companies in our sector, can match this longevity. Fleet managers know that TIP Trailer Services will go out of their way to support their customers, backed by specialist experience and expertise built-up over many decades.

An exciting range of assets

People renting Ms. Anderson’s home have an “unfair advantage”; the opportunity to live in an architecturally dramatic, one-off 5,500 sq. ft (510 sq. m) house. The house includes “floating staircases, massive closets, a Picasso-style tub, a detached guest house, a cool pool, …” (source: TMZ)

TIP Trailer Services provides a different type of “unfair advantage” for their customers, an impressive choice of over 70,000 trailers for lease or rental. They are available in all forms from standard to the more specialist trailers. They include semi-trailers, flatbed, curtainsiders, box trailers, reefers, tankers, tipping powder, non-tipping, containers, moving/walking floor, waste and chemical trailers.

Other TIP “unfair advantages”

TIP Trailer Services rental and leasing is not just about renting or leasing trailer assets. It’s also about taking the weight off the shoulders of fleet managers and drivers with other trailer services that enable them to focus on the parts of their roles that add the most value to their businesses.

These sources of “unfair advantage” for TIP’s rental and leasing customers include TIP’s provision of maintenance, its European roadside assistance, and flexibility.

Subcontract your maintenance

Running your own maintenance and repair workshop can be a drain on your resources. You can invest a lot of management time and overheads in building up, training and retaining a team of specialised trailer mechanics. You can also tie up significant capital in an inventory of spare parts, taking up valuable space in a warehouse. All the capital you put to work here could be invested more profitably in other parts of your business if you subcontract your trailer servicing and repairs to a company such as TIP.

European roadside assistance

Another “unfair advantage” that TIP shares with its rental and leasing customers is access to its European roadside assistance network. TIP has a network of its own workshops across Europe and access to local partners that can quickly come to the rescue. They operate in 16 countries across Europe, round the clock and 365 days per year. This network consists of over 5,000 workshops including mobile service vans.

We know that your time out with breakdowns costs you revenue. Which is why our mobile service vans are at the frontline of our response to call-outs for roadside assistance. They carry a sizeable load of workshop equipment including tools, spare parts, and diagnostic technology.  When not responding to emergencies, our technicians travel to customer sites in these service vans. There they can conduct regular servicing including repairs to minimise their trailer downtime.

Rental and leasing flexibility

Another “unfair advantage” that a company of our size can offer customers relative to competitors is flexibility through rental or leasing.

Flexibility can be about giving the fleet manager the opportunity to bring on additional trailers to handle the peaks of unexpected demand and return them in slower times, with little notice and without the need to own the assets outright.

Flexibility could mean you taking advantage, through rental or leasing, of our economies of scale to access better and/more recent trailer models than if your fleet manager had purchased them directly from the manufacturers. You might also change your trailers more frequently than if you owned them.

Flexibility can be about giving the fleet manager a choice of cost-effective and flexible ways of financing their trailer requirements. For short-term needs, rental could be the best option. For medium to long-term requirements, fleet managers can choose from several leasing options.

You may have missed out on the opportunity to rent or lease Pamela Anderson’s home, but you are never too late to experience and find out more about the “unfair advantages” of TIP trailer rental and leasing. For further information, please contact TIP using this form.

 

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Summer is coming. Is your trailer ready for the traffic?

 

Summer is here and as usual, there will be significantly more traffic on European roads. A little bit of detective work can help your trailer fleet avoid the more congested cities. Keeping your trailers in mint condition will minimise unexpected trailer breakdowns in traffic jams.

Increasing traffic

Traffic seems destined to keep growing. The World Economic Forum calculates that there are now 1 billion vehicles on the road globally, a number that could grow by 600 million by 2025. By 2050, it could rise as high as 4 billion. (source: Politico.EU). The UK government forecasts that traffic on England’s roads could increase by up to 55% by 2040. (source: ITSInternational)

Congestion and effective route planning

Delivering to customers in congested towns is part of being a successful road transport company. Having prior knowledge of congestion levels in such towns can help your drivers take the most efficient route planning decisions.

Europe’s most congested cities

INRIX, experts in connected car services and transportation analytics, researched 628 European cities for its INRIX 2017 Traffic Scorecard and found that Moscow is the most congested in Europe. Drivers spent 91 hours in traffic congestion at peak hours and 26% of their total drive time including peak and non-peak hours in congestion.  London is second in the list of Europe’s most congested cities with 74 hours (13% of total drive time in congestion), followed by Paris with 69 hours (13%), and Istanbul 59 hours (19%). The UK ranked in the top ten most congested countries in the world, the third most congested European country after Russia and Turkey.

Some improvements

Inrix notes that, in the UK, Scottish cities have made progress from 2016 with Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Edinburgh reducing peak hours in congestion by 20%, 15%, and 10% respectively. Similarly, in Germany, Heilbronn saw a 19% decrease from 45 to 38 hours per driver per year, taking it from second place in 2016 to seventh place in the 2017 German rankings. Munich remains the most congested Germany city (source: Inrix)

Traffic congestion solutions

French publication Cnews.fr discusses some classic solutions. It reports that traffic congestion in the Ile-de-France area which includes Paris and its surroundings had risen dramatically in 2017. The solutions it proposes included improving public transport, installing more toll roads, encouraging remote working and car-sharing.

Congestion charges

ANew York Times article entitled “There are better ways to get around town” praised the innovative street designs of Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London and Stockholm, It also discussed the road congestion charges levied by London in 2003 and Stockholm three years later, with the aim of reducing traffic in their inner cities.

Asking drivers to pay an additional amount to the cost of tolls on already congested toll routes is one approach that the European Parliament is considering as a way of improving traffic flow on busy roads. (source: Cardisiac)

Smart lamppost revolution

An EU smart cities programme, Sharing Cities, is installing “smart lampposts” in six European cities including London, Lisbon, and Milan. These smart lampposts can collect information about parking availability. Sharing Cities believes this could be an “ingenious way” of reducing air pollution and road congestion. (source: Edie.net)

Trailer Maintenance ahead of peak summer traffic

Whilst trailer fleet operators cannot influence congestion on the roads, you can at least take control of your trailers that may get absorbed in peak summer traffic jams, by having a trailer maintenance programme in place. This will minimise the likelihood of experiencing an unexpected trailer breakdown.

A trailer needs constant care and attention.  Consider outsourcing the maintenance and repair management programme to reliable, well-qualified experts such as TIP Trailer Services.

TIP proposes a regularly scheduled trailer maintenance programme.  This will help you anticipate technical issues, keep costs under control and ensure that all trailers are fit for the road in the summer and throughout all the other seasons.

Key trailer maintenance services

The services provided by TIP’s trailer maintenance programme include servicing, repair, regulatory compliance such as MOT, compulsory tests and periodic equipment tests.

The programme also covers tyre maintenance services and access to our Europe-wide roadside assistance services solution 24/7, 365 days per year.  We can manage repairs through our fixed price damage repair process. TIP can also take responsibility for much of the non-core and time-consuming elements of your fleet administration.

Are you ready for the summer?

We are! Through our trailer maintenance programme, at TIP, we have a large pool of highly-qualified technicians available to conduct the maintenance of your trailers offering you peace of mind as you plan your staff holidays and prepare your trailer fleet for business over the summer. To find out more about TIP’s Trailer Maintenance and Repair Management services, please contact TIP via this form.

 

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Well-maintained trailers deliver a European e-commerce boom

European online retailing is enjoying a long phase of seemingly ever-lasting growth. Judging by recent media coverage, this growth looks unstoppable and provides a wonderful business opportunity for road freight transport companies with well-maintained trailer fleets. 

EU retail growth

Forrester Research predicts that e-commerce in Western Europe will grow 11.3% per year on average over the next five years, representing 13.9% of total retail sales by 2022. Excluding groceries, this number will rise to 20% of total retail sales in this region. [source: EcommerceNews.EU] 

Cross-border delivery

The prospects for e-commerce delivery across European borders are also promising. In-depth EU research into the internet purchasing habits of over 260,000 European respondents tells us that 33% of e-buyers made purchases from sellers in other EU countries in 2017 compared with 25% in 2012. Likewise, 22% of e-buyers bought from vendors outside the EU in 2017 compared to 12% in 2012.

Unsurprisingly, Luxembourgers made the most cross-border purchases with 74% buying from non-Luxembourg-based retailers. Turkey accounts for the lowest proportion of cross-border purchases (2%), just behind Romania (3%). [Source: EShopWorld]

In a further boost to European e-commerce and cross-border deliveries, the EU announced in March 2018 that it will establish a parcel delivery prices comparison website. This will enable consumers and businesses to have a reference point for domestic and cross-border delivery tariffs before opting for the best deal. According to an EU consultation, over two-thirds of consumers had given up on making online cross-border purchases because the delivery costs were too high.  A 2015 study found that cross-border parcel prices are on average 3 to 5 times higher than their domestic equivalents for all products. 

Top online sellers

Leading the European online sales league table is Amazon, which posted an online turnover of €38.5 billion in 2015. It is followed by Apple (€6.4 billion turnover), Dixons Carphone (€3.9 billion) and Cdiscount/Groupe Casino (€2.4 billion) [source: EShopWorld]

Analysing European online retailers from several angles, the IREU Top500 2017 list of European retailers found that Apple, Boots, H&M, Ikea, Nike, and Zara were statistically ahead of all the others and “represent the pinnacle of European multichannel retailing”. [Source: IREU Top500]

The greatest choice

Of the 800,000 online stores in Europe, 175,000 are in Germany. The UK is in second place with 108,000 online stores. The Netherlands takes third place with over 82,000 online stores. Researchers attribute this third place to several factors. They are the Netherlands’ high internet penetration rate and the fact that large e-commerce players including Amazon and eBay were comparatively slow to establish themselves in the Dutch market, thus enabling Dutch entrepreneurs to create local e-commerce sites that have enjoyed enduring popularity in the Netherlands. In fourth place is France with 75,000 online stores. [source:Ecommercenews.eu/Dataprovider]

Most popular buying categories

What online-purchased goods are you most likely to be transporting in your trailers?

The EU’s E-commerce Statistics for Individuals survey found that “clothes and sports goods” (64% of e-buyers) was the most popular online buying category. “Travel and accommodation” was the second category with 53% of e-buyers, followed by “household goods” (46%), “tickets for events” (39%) and “books, magazines and newspapers” (34%).

Keeping trailers in TIP top condition

To benefit from the exciting business opportunities provided by online retailing, you need to keep your trailers well-maintained in TIP top condition and, maximise their time on the road.

Having a trailer maintenance programme in place will minimise the likelihood of experiencing an unexpected trailer breakdown. All trailers need regular care, attention, and servicing. Consider outsourcing the maintenance and repair management programme to reliable, well-qualified experts such as TIP Trailer Services.

TIP provides a regularly scheduled trailer maintenance programme.  This helps you anticipate technical issues, keep costs under control and ensure that all trailers are fit for the road throughout the seasons.

Key trailer maintenance services

TIP’s trailer maintenance programme includes servicing, repair, regulatory compliance such as MOT, compulsory tests and periodic equipment tests.

The programme also covers tyre maintenance services and access to our Europe-wide roadside assistance services solution 24/7, 365 days per year.  We can manage repairs through our fixed price damage repair process. TIP can take responsibility for much of the non-core and time-consuming elements of your fleet administration. For further information on how you can keep your trailers in TIP top condition to win more online retail delivery contracts, please contact us using this form.

Save money and outsource trailer fleet maintenance

According to recent research by the CNR, the French national road freight transport authority, maintenance accounts for 8.2% of the costs of keeping a 40 tonne long haul truck on the road. Managing costs are a high priority for fleet managers. Outsourcing trailer maintenance is one way of obtaining substantial cost savings.

Outsourced maintenance on the up

Lionel Bertuit, commercial director of Volvo Trucks France told L’Officiel des Transporteurs in 2014 that “30 to 40% of truck buyers signed up to a maintenance contract,” up from 10 to 15% only a few years before. He went on to say that if in the 2000’s, the road transport industry preferred in-house workshops, today it was opting for outsourced maintenance contracts.

Is outsourced trailer maintenance for you?

There are many factors to consider when deciding if outsourcing trailer maintenance is right for your fleet. For a small to medium-sized fleet, it makes commercial sense to outsource trailer maintenance. Up to a certain size of fleet, running an in-house workshop with staff, premises, tools, repair equipment and spare parts is unprofitable. It is difficult to generate economies of scale on a small level of activity. For the larger fleets, either total maintenance outsourcing or a mix of in-house workshops and partial maintenance outsourcing are effective solutions.  Partial maintenance outsourcing is useful for:

  • specialist expertise that is missing in-house such as for trailers or tyres
  • handling maintenance relating to specific manufacturers
  • the long-distance transporters, in countries where they have no workshop presence.

Benefits of outsourcing

  • Focus on areas that add most value to your business

A well-designed and established outsourced trailer maintenance partnership with a market leader like TIP frees time for the fleet manager to spend on business-critical activities like customer service or business development. A partnership can cover maintenance, repair and take over most of the administration that surrounds these processes.

The more sophisticated outsourcing partners add value to your trailer fleet through their extensive experience and diagnostic tools by advising, for example, on whether you are using the right trailer for the loads that you are carrying. If you are not, they can save money by recommending alternative solutions and in some cases, such as TIP’s, providing the appropriate trailer for on-demand use through rental or leasing.

  • Reduce your overheads

Let someone else invest in keeping up with the latest complex technology; recruit, train and retain a team of technicians; tie-up working capital in a physical workshop and spare parts inventory.

  • Increasing complexity of the trailer and truck technology

Trucks and trailers now run on extremely sophisticated technology including ever more electronics and telematics. Fleets constantly train technicians to keep up with the latest technologies. In parallel, they have to buy the latest diagnostic testing technology at considerable expense. Many manufacturers’ guarantees require very specific maintenance for their validity, adding further pressure.

If you own trailers made by different manufacturers, a multinational maintenance outsourcing partner such as TIP can complement your in-house expertise with specialist maintenance experience of specific manufacturers that you don’t necessarily have in-house.

  • Recruit, train and retain a team of technicians

It is not easy to find well-qualified, specialist trailer and truck technicians. Outsourcing trailer maintenance means that the fleet manager can access a pool of experienced technicians with up-to-date skills.

  • Tie-up working capital in physical assets

By outsourcing your maintenance, you don’t have to invest in a fully-equipped workshop or in a stock of spare parts.

  • Flexibility

For some fleet managers, the flexibility of outsourced trailer maintenance is appealing. The trailer maintenance outsourcer can provide both a network of workshops across a wide geographical area and mobile maintenance and repair facilities operating 24-7 365 days per year. This ensures that trailer downtime is minimised.  To meet fluctuations in demand, a transport company can rent additional trailers and not worry about having to recruit extra staff in-house to cope with fluctuating pressure on maintenance. Flexibility can also mean different levels of fixed maintenance and repair tariffs which help fleet managers forecast and manage their costs.

Outsource your trailer maintenance to TIP

TIP Trailer Services is a highly experienced provider of trailer maintenance and repair programmes. Its programmes offer cost savings, flexibility and access to a large team of well-qualified technicians trained in all the latest technologies operating from a network of over 70 workshops across Europe and Canada. For more information about TIP’s Trailer Maintenance programmes, please contact us using this form.

 

The importance of a daily trailer inspection

The importance of a daily trailer inspection

Everybody wants to keep their commercial vehicles roadworthy and safe. That’s why the driver’s “walk around check” of their truck and trailer is crucial, according to the recommendations made by several European government road safety agencies.

For example, the Irish Road Safety Authority(RSA) and the UK’s DVSA offer useful guides to keeping commercial vehicles roadworthy and safe. (sources: RSA guide and DVSA guide). Following these daily trailer inspection recommendations makes excellent commercial sense because routine safety checks will lead to fewer unexpected breakdowns.

Drivers on the frontline of “vehicle issues detection”

A driver knows his or her vehicle well, so is therefore likely to be the first to recognise any problems as they arise, or anticipate potential problems. The RSA in Ireland recommends that drivers should carry out a daily inspection of their vehicles. They need to report any faults or potential problems to the individual in their company with designated responsibility for roadworthiness and safety, which is typically the fleet manager. If there are any issues, they must be repaired and the vehicle must be declared safe before allowing the driver to set out on their journey.

Objectives

The driver’s objective is to identify easily-spotted defects through a visual check. The aim is for a daily trailer inspection not for drivers to conduct in-depth investigations of the mechanics of their vehicles, as this is clearly the job of qualified technicians. Nevertheless, there is a legal obligation in most EU countries for the driver to conduct vehicle inspections. For example, the UK’s DVSA states that “failure to comply can lead to a prohibition, a fixed penalty and penalty points on your licence”.

What to look for

There are many helpful one page checklists for a daily trailer inspection which show what drivers should be looking out for such as the DVSA’s “HGV Drivers’ Walk Around Check” which are available online.

A view from the truck

In the truck itself, there are items that can be checked from the driver’s seat including the mirrors and glass, steering, brakes, the horn, visibility through the windows, excessive engine exhaust smoke, windscreen wipers and washers, warning lamps as well as lights and indicators. Stepping outside, the driver can check the exterior of the vehicle for fuel and oil leaks, the state of the battery and coupling security amongst other items.

Around the trailer

On the trailer, drivers need to inspect the electrical connections, brake lines, number plates, markers, reflectors, tyres and wheel fixings, the security of the trailer body and wings, the suspension, electrical connections and the security of the load. (source RSA)

Wash regularly

TruckingInfo’s article entitled “9 Tips for Better Trailer Maintenance” is very helpful but the majority of their tips require more than just a visual check. That said, one of the tips “Wash your trailer regularly” seems particularly relevant, because the cleaner the trailer, the easier it is to spot any problems.

From trailer inspection to maintenance and repair

Once you and your drivers have identified any issues on your trailer(s), consider partnering with an expert such as TIP Trailer Services to whom you can outsource your maintenance and repairs. TIP is a highly experienced provider of trailer maintenance and repair programmes.

TIP’s maintenance programmes offer cost savings, flexibility and access to a large team of qualified technicians, trained in all the latest technologies, operating from a network of over 70 workshops across Europe and Canada.

To discuss outsourcing your trailer maintenance, please contact TIP to discover more about the wide range of services they can provide.

 

Trailer maintenance choices: to repair or to prevent?

 

Trailer maintenance choices: to repair or to prevent?

Preventative maintenance of your trailers can minimise the likelihood of unexpected trailer breakdowns, and the extra costs and inconvenience associated with these. It can also prevent a niggling voice in the back of your mind pointing out that “If only I had maintained that trailer more regularly, I wouldn’t be in this mess!”

What is preventative maintenance?

Preventative maintenance prevents trailers from breaking down, thereby maximising their availability for delivering goods to customers. Most issues with trailers are maintenance related and can be prevented. It is also costlier to repair unexpected trailer defects than it is to prevent them. Moreover, any undetected mechanical problems with trailers are potential road safety hazards. And once a trailer goes off-road due to a technical defect, the costs will follow straight away.

Preventative maintenance involves several stages of scheduled maintenance, predictive maintenance, regular inspections and a system for reporting and resolving issues.

Scheduled maintenance

If you are not doing so already, why not consider regular, scheduled preventative maintenance visits? These are based on the trailer manufacturers’ specifications, including time intervals and/or mileage. Scheduled maintenance is an excellent solution. Not only can it be delivered for a pre-determined cost but it also reduces unplanned repairs and interventions.

Predictive maintenance

Nowadays, more and more fleets combine “scheduled maintenance” with “predictive maintenance” programmes, based on real-time data generated by their truck and trailer telematics systems. It involves merging the trailer’s data on functions including tyre pressure, fuel consumption or reefer temperatures with information about its mileage, age and regularly scheduled maintenance. From this data, expert trailer maintenance providers can diagnose what specific maintenance is required to avoid future issues. For example, predictive maintenance tells us when to replace a worn-out tyre or service a reefer unit.

What the driver saw

Drivers can contribute to effective maintenance by conducting daily and weekly visual inspections of their trailer and truck. They can then report any mechanical and safety problems and not drive away until they have been resolved.

Manager responsibilities and reports

Fleet managers are responsible for maintenance planning. This includes scheduling trailer servicing, ensuring that regular safety checks are carried out on vehicles and removing trucks and trailers from service for repair. Fleet managers should keep a record of all servicing, safety inspections and repairs. They also need to train their drivers on what to inspect and how to report their findings.

Preventative trailer maintenance; in-house or outsource?

There are many factors to consider when deciding if outsourcing preventative trailer maintenance is right for your fleet.

Benefits of outsourcing:

  • Efficiency

Cost is a major factor. In most cases outsourcing preventative trailer maintenance is more cost-effective than keeping it in-house. You do not have to carry the fixed overheads of technicians or the latest diagnostics and repair equipment.

  • Keeping up with technology

Another advantage behind outsourcing preventative maintenance is the increasing complexity of trailer and truck technology such as telematics and ABS brakes. By outsourcing, you can access a pool of highly experienced technicians with up-to-date skills and knowledge of the latest technologies.

  • Flexibility

Outsourcing preventative trailer maintenance provides significant flexibility for many fleet managers. This flexibility includes a 24/7 availability of maintenance and repair support through a pan-European network of workshops. Trailer downtime is minimised.

  • Focus on areas that add most value to your business

A well-designed and established outsourced trailer maintenance partnership with a market leader like TIP, will free up more time for the fleet manager to spend on more business-critical activities like customer service or business development.

To discuss outsourcing your preventative trailer maintenance, please contact TIP here to find out the services it can provide.

 

 

Finding your way through top 10 of the most congested cities

Finding your way through top 10 of the most congested cities

One of the challenges of economic growth is that, whilst it generates new business opportunities for road transport companies, it attracts more people and vehicles to cities. These factors contribute to greater congestion in some cities your trailer fleet may navigate to and also highlight the importance of keeping your trailers in top condition.

Congestion and effective route planning

Delivering to customers in congested towns is part of being a successful road transport company. Having prior knowledge of congestion levels in such towns can help your drivers to take the most efficient route-planning decisions.

Top 10 Europe’s most congested cities

INRIX, experts in connected car services and transportation analytics, researched 628 European cities for its INRIX 2016 Traffic Scorecard and found that Moscow is the most congested city in Europe. Drivers spent 91 hours in traffic congestion at peak hours and over 25% of their total drive time (including peak and non-peak hours) in congestion. London is the second most congested city in Europe with 73 hours (12.7% of total drive time in congestion), followed by Paris with 65 hours (11.4%), and Istanbul 59 hours (18.6%). Ranked no 5 is the Russian town of Krasnodar, where drivers spent 56 peak hours in congestion and 24.3% of their total driving time in congestion.

Russian cities dominated the top 10 with 5 entries including Moscow, Krasnodar, Saint Petersburg, Sochi and Nizhny Novgorod. Zurich and Munich were the other two members of the European top 10, placed in 6th and 9th positions respectively.

The results of another congestion survey conducted in 2016, by navigation company TomTom, over a smaller sample of 380 European cities, also featured Istanbul, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, London and Paris in its top 10 most congested European cities. However, it differed in some of its findings. According to TomTom, Bucharest in Romania is the most congested city in Europe including also Marseille, Rome, Brussels and Manchester in the top 10. [source: Business Insider]

Congestion and trailer maintenance

A combination of driving slowly or idling in heavy traffic through congested areas, and cruising at sensible speeds on the motorways exerts different pressures on your trailers. You also want to avoid unexpected trailer repairs, particularly in congested urban areas. These are among the many reasons to consider having trailer maintenance and repair programme in place.

TIP trailer maintenance services

Consider outsourcing the maintenance and repair management programme to reliable, well-qualified experts such as TIP Trailer Services.

TIP provides a regular scheduled trailer maintenance programme. This will help you anticipate technical issues, keep costs under control and ensure that all trailers are fit for the road in the summer and throughout all the other seasons. This also enables you to keep your trailers and trucks in prime condition without having the overheads of employing your own in-house technicians.

The services provided by TIP’s trailer maintenance programme include servicing, repair, regulatory compliance such as MOT, compulsory tests and periodic equipment tests.

The programme also covers tyre maintenance services and access to our Europe-wide roadside assistance services solution 24/7, 365 days per year. We can manage repairs through our fixed price damage repair process. TIP can also take responsibility for much of the non-core and time-consuming elements of your fleet administration.

Benefit from the TIP maintenance experience

TIP has been providing trailer maintenance services for over 45 years. TIP has a large pool of highly-qualified technicians available to carry out the maintenance of your trailers. They have experienced every aspect of trailer maintenance and repair and are well-equipped to handle every situation. Outsourcing your trailer maintenance and repairs offers you and your drivers peace of mind as they drive across the congested cities and/or the motorways of Europe.

If you don’t want to get stuck in the traffic jam with an unexpected breakdown, contact TIP for a trailermade maintenance contract.

Is your trailer ready for the summer?

Is your trailer ready for the summer?

The arrival of summer means different things to different fleet managers. With all the schools across Europe on summer holiday, how will this impact traffic flow and your ability to deliver freight on time by road? Does your trailer maintenance programme ensure that your trailers are ready and robust in the event of being stuck in holiday traffic jams? And when will you, your drivers and trailer maintenance technicians be able to take a summer holiday?

How long is a European summer holiday?

The length of the school summer holiday varies considerably across Europe. It starts anytime between the end of May and the second half of July and ends in late August or early September. In some countries, the school holidays vary according the level of education. So primary school children in Bulgaria enjoy the longest summer holidays of 15 weeks. In Italy, children have 14 weeks off whilst 13 weeks is the norm in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Turkey. Possibly not feeling quite so lucky are children in several German Länder, the Netherlands and the UK who typically have a 6 week summer break. [source: EU]

Summer holiday traffic flow

As summer begins, traffic flow increases to areas that are popular holiday destinations. In parallel, with schools temporarily closed, urban roads become less congested at peak times How do these factors affect route planning for your trailers and deliveries?

“Autoroute du Soleil”

An illustration of holiday routes to avoid is the slow traffic jam on the notorious A7 “Autoroute du Soleil”. This road goes from Lyon through the Rhone valley to Orange and then heads east to the Cote d’Azur. Steer clear of this route, particularly in a south-bound direction from early July when all French schools close and in a northerly direction at the end of August. Otherwise, long delays on the motorway await. Solutions include taking the longer but less congested route over the Alps from Grenoble or travelling at less family-friendly times such as at night.

Trailer Maintenance ahead of peak summer traffic

If your trailers are caught up in peak summer traffic jams, having a trailer maintenance programme in place will minimise the likelihood of experiencing an unexpected trailer breakdown.

A trailer needs constant care and attention. Consider outsourcing the maintenance and repair management programme to reliable, well-qualified experts such as TIP Trailer Services.

TIP proposes a regular scheduled trailer maintenance programme. This will help you anticipate technical issues, keep costs under control and ensure that all trailers are fit for the road in the summer and throughout all the other seasons.

Key trailer maintenance services

The services provided by TIP’s trailer maintenance programme include servicing, repair, regulatory compliance such as MOT, compulsory tests and periodic equipment tests.

The programme also covers tyre maintenance services and access to our Europe-wide roadside assistance services solution 24/7, 365 days per year. We can manage repairs through our fixed price damage repair process. TIP can also take responsibility for much of the non-core and time-consuming elements of your fleet administration.

Are you ready for the summer?

Through its trailer maintenance programme, TIP has a large pool of highly-qualified technicians available to conduct the maintenance of your trailers offering you peace of mind as you plan your staff holidays and prepare your trailer fleet for business over the summer.

Are you ready for the summer?

 

To find out more about TIP’s Trailer Maintenance and Repair Management services, please contact TIP using this form.

When outsourcing trailer maintenance makes sense

When outsourcing trailer maintenance makes sense

Are you ready to outsource the maintenance of your trailers? Do you have the ability and need to handle maintenance in-house? Would it make more sense for you to outsource trailer maintenance, freeing you up to concentrate on greater value-adding activities?

There are many factors to consider when deciding if outsourcing trailer maintenance is right for your fleet;

Cost-savings

Cost is a significant factor in many fleet managers’ minds. In its April 2016 report on “Gearing up for growth – future perspectives on the global truck industry” management consultants at McKinsey estimate that maintenance forms approximately 10% of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of running a fleet of medium-sized and heavy duty trucks. Costs relating to maintenance, operations, personnel and administration account for over 80% of the TCO. Understanding your current maintenance costs will help you assess how much you can save by outsourcing.

In most cases outsourcing trailer maintenance is more cost-effective than keeping it in-house, because it eliminates the fixed overheads of technicians, their training, the latest diagnostic and repair equipment and frees up capital rather than having it tied-up in a warehouse of spare parts.

Keeping up with technology

Another factor is the increasing complexity of the trailer and truck technology. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) contribute to make truck driving safer and less stressful today.

ADAS include traction control; ABS brakes; electronic stability control; adaptive cruise control and telematics, which can perform a whole range of useful tasks remotely. These tasks include monitoring the wear and tear on parts and assessing when a servicing appointment is required or the remote control of functions such as reefer temperatures or tyre pressures. Through sensors attached throughout trailers, telematics can track trailers’ whereabouts and lock and unlock doors remotely.

However, maintaining and repairing these technologies requires well-trained, high-quality technicians. Outsourcing trailer maintenance means that the fleet manager can enjoy access to a pool of experienced technicians with up-to-date skills. The fleet manager does not have to worry about recruiting the right technicians, training and retaining them as well as all the costs that this involves.

Flexibility

For some fleet managers, the flexibility of outsourced trailer maintenance is an interesting factor. The trailer maintenance outsourcer can provide both a network of workshops across a wide geographical area and mobile maintenance and repair facilities operating 24-7 365 days per year. This ensures that trailer downtime is minimised. To meet fluctuations in demand, a transport company can rent additional trailers and not worry about having to recruit extra staff in-house to cope with fluctuating pressure on maintenance. Flexibility can also mean different levels of fixed maintenance and repair tariffs which help fleet managers forecast and manage their costs.

Focus on areas that add most value to your business

A well-designed and established outsourced trailer maintenance partnership with a market leader like TIP will free up more time for the fleet manager to spend on more business-critical activities like customer service or business development. An outsourced trailer maintenance partnership can cover maintenance, repair and take over most of the administration that surrounds these processes. This gives fleet managers more time to concentrate on what they do best.

Outsource your trailer maintenance to TIP

TIP Trailer Services is a highly experienced provider of trailer maintenance and repair programmes. Its programmes offer cost savings, flexibility and access to a large team of well-qualified technicians trained in all the latest technologies operating from a network of over 70 workshops across Europe and Canada. 

For more information about TIP’s Trailer Maintenance programmes, please contact us via this form.